1. Why are we doing this?
The South Titirangi Neighbourhood Network (STNN) trial will invite the community to participate in the ongoing predator control programme. Our expert-approved Predator Control Programme for South Titirangi is designed to regenerate our forest canopy, increase native birds, including Kaka and Oi (grey-faced petrels), and even attract Kokako. The Predator Control Plan Trial in the peninsula’s southern tip focuses on this small area bounded by Arama Ave, Arapito Road, and South Titirangi Road from Tamariki Reserve to Jenkins Bay. It is a one-year trial from which we expect to find out what tools and techniques will work best across the South Titirangi peninsula to reach the goal of predator suppression.
2. Has a project like this been successfully done before?
This trial will be one of the first in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland but there are a number of successful projects in residential areas like Wellington and Waiheke Island. Waiheke and Wellington are aiming at being predator free. STNN’s aim is to suppress (rather than eliminate) pests to a level where native species can make a comeback. When suburbs surrounding South Titirangi join in the predator eradication effort we can work towards being predator free like Wellington.
3. Where is the Trial area?
The trial area is about 18HA and stretches south from Arama Avenue and Tamariki Reserve to the coastline. It includes Arapito Road and South Titirangi Road from 757 - 810. There are about 90 private properties and four public reserves in the area.
4. Who will manage the Trial?
The South Titirangi Neighbourhood Network (STNN) will manage the trial including laying and maintenance of bait stations, communications with neighbours and tracking of successes. STNN is a community group that was established in 2016 by South Titirangi locals to work towards a weed and pest-free South Titirangi Peninsula.
5. How long is the Trial?
It is for one year from late 2023.
6. Will it cost me to be involved?
Nothing at all. There will be traps and other resources available for free through STNN. All the funding for this trial has been raised via grants and donations. As there are ongoing costs, we do welcome donations, big or small.
7. How can I be involved?
There are lots of ways to get involved, including:
Have a trap in your backyard
Check monitoring lines
Doorknock in your neighbourhood – the more neighbours involved the better
Subscribe to updates
Offer your skills - see our list of volunteer ‘jobs’ on our website
Donate on to STNN: 38-9018-0076960-00
8. What methods are being used to suppress predators?
We will be running two lines of bait stations (25m x 25m apart) in the Arama Road area as a ‘buffer’ to reduce the incursion of pests into the trial area. The rest of the trial area will have bait stations (100m x 100m apart) and several possum traps. We will use a ‘pulse’ method whereby bait stations are filled and serviced four times a year for four days each time. At the end of each pulse, all unused baits are removed.
This is not a poison drop; bait will be carefully placed in locked bait stations managed by STNN. Alongside the bait stations, we will encourage people to have free rat traps on their property that they check weekly. We will also have monitoring lines to collect data on native birds, geckos, pests and forest canopy.
9. Are you targeting cats?
No, we are only targeting mice, rats and possums. However, we encourage people to be responsible cat owners when living in native bush. A responsible cat owner feeds their cat regularly, has their cat wear a bell and/or cat ruffle during the day to reduce wildlife kill and keeps their cat in at night.
10. How safe are the bait stations for pets, children and wildlife?
We will use Ambush bait stations which are locked and designed to avoid non-target species and be tamper resistant for pets and children. The bait used is Ditrac for three of the four pulses. For one of the four pulses, we use Contrac. The method we will use has been safely used on the Miramar Peninsula in Wellington for over three years. Thousands of households, businesses and schools have had bait stations and traps without safety problems emerging for pets, children or non-target wildlife. In the very unlikely event that you think your pet may be ill, there is an effective antidote available using Vitamin K which a vet can administer.
11. Will bait and traps be on public or private land?
Both public and private land - where the owner agrees to it. Placement and access arrangements can be made with the owner.
12. Will 1080 be used in the Trial?
No - see question 10. This is not a poison drop; bait will be carefully placed in locked bait stations managed by STNN.
13. How will the spread of Kauri Dieback be prevented by those servicing the bait stations?
The trial area has been chosen to avoid concentrations of Kauri trees. STNN has consulted with the Tree Council and Auckland Council to develop a Kauri Dieback Prevention procedure. STNN has also minimised the number of contractors and will train those working on the lines to prevent any spread of the disease.
14. Will contractors be coming on to private land? If so, do households get advance notice?
Yes, if you agree to have a bait station on your property. We will use a ‘pulse’ method whereby stations are filled and serviced four times a year for four days each time. At the end of each pulse, all unused baits are removed. So a contractor will come onto your property 5x each quarter, and you will be informed of pulse dates in advance.